Packing a nutritious lunchbox is important to help support children’s energy and learning capacity at school, not to mention, overall growth and development. Ideally snacks should contain a source of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates to help nutritional needs be met. See below for nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin‘s ideas sure to give your child the edge they need to flourish at school!
image via pinterest
Fibre-Rich Chickpea Cookies
These fibre-rich chickpea cookies are rich in protein sure to keep kids well fuelled throughout the day. If preferred, 1 tbsp. dark cocoa or cacao can also be added to the mixture for a chocolate flavour. These cookies are very simple to make and are a good way to get kids involved in the kitchen.
Serves: makes 10 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20-30 minutes
1 cup well rinsed canned chickpeas
1 tbsp. wholemeal or brown rice flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
½ cup hulled tahini
1 cup sultanas or other dried fruit
Preheat oven to 175 degrees and line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
In a food processor mix all ingredients until smooth.
Spoon heaped tablespoons of batter onto the prepared tray about 1-2cm apart and flatten slightly with a spoon.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Cool biscuits on the tray for at least 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
Amaranth Apple Bread
This apple bread is rich in protein, healthy fats and complex carbs, making it an all round good snack for busy kids. This bread stores well in the fridge for a few days and leftovers can be frozen.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cooking: 60 minutes
½ cup mixed raw and unsalted nuts
2 cups amaranth flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking soda
1 apple, sliced
3 cups apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 cup EV olive oil
2 tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla essence
2 tsp. cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 160C.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the apple and water, cook for 5-7 minutes until soft, puree.
Process the nuts in a blender until coarsely ground.
Add the flour, baking soda, apple, oil, agave/honey, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased 9×5″ loaf pan or 2 7×3″ pans lined with baking paper, top mixture with sliced apple and bake for 60 minutes or until cooked.
Let it cool and serve.
Other quick ideas
Trail mix – combine pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, dates, coconut flakes, puffed quinoa in a jar, mix well. To serve, portion into a small container.
‘Frozen yoghurt’ – blend natural yoghurt with mango or other fruit and freeze. Put into the lunchbox frozen with an ice-brick and by morning tea it will have softened.
If you have a dehydrator and normally make your own fruit straps, try adding some vegetables. Example – beetroot + apple + carrot.
Mini chia puddings – combine 1 tbsp. chia, 1/3 cup milk and a little bit of honey in a small container. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning top with fresh fruit and pack into the lunchbox.
Mini wholegrain wraps spread with hummus, grated carrot and grated cheese
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